Catherine asked:

I loved the movie. Should I try this?

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Cobwebsandglitter This is one of my favorite books. The plot is so intricate and the story brilliantly interwoven. Through the very well developed characters different emotions (love, depravity, hatred etc) are explored with direct parallels to the Old Testament. Loved this book. Would never ruin it by watching the movie ;)
Osama Bin Khalid Never make this horrible mistake in your life. When you watch a movie before reading the novel, it creates a hindering and immature image of the characters and the scenery. You can't think freely without getting all of those images back in your mind. So I would always suggest, in future, to first read the book then watch the movie.
Sophie Romero de torres If you loved the movie you should enjoy the book even more. I was highly disappointed by the movie that only tells.... the last part of the book ! Steinbeck wrote about 400 pages before telling us about Aaron & Caleb adulthood. So YES, definitely, give the book a chance !
Min I honestly never saw the movie, but I think you should read it. You would get to know the characters much more than if you saw the movie, as you would see their thoughts, what other characters think of them, etc. The character growth is almost always the main reason to read the book instead of the movie, in my opinion. I'm also guessing that the plot would be slightly different. To me, the books make the story feel more alive (thanks to description) than the movies. So yes, you should read the book.
Scotty YES. Arguably one of the greatest literary pieces in history, and without a doubt in American literature. I've never seen the movie, but I have read the novel numerous times.
Karen mccleskey yes read the book, you will be immersed in a tantalizing tale that will remove you from your present circumstances and like the great gatsby or the good earth or the terror, drop you into another sensual mysterious world you will be sorry to leave.
Emt I read the book and was excited to watch the movie. Big mistake. They went into the core meanings right off the bat without any build up which is all the beauty.
Wiseask East of Eden, a biblical allegory about the freedom to choose good over evil, is arguably the greatest American novel. It is Steinbeck's masterpiece. Much of his prose could pass as poetry. In Chapter 13 he devotes a triumphant page to the defense and value of the individual over the collective that could have been written by Howard Roark. In Chapter 8 he also created in the perfectly named Cathy Ames one of the most fascinating characters in American literature.

John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He did not write the screenplay for East of Eden. The poorly written condensed film version of selected, inaccurately portrayed episodes from the final third of his novel is a sacrilege by comparison.
Tashia Yes, because the movie don't deal with the first half the book, you also don't get Kathy's point of view. I thought James Dean's emotional acting performance with the money for his father in the 1955 movie was too much for me. The book is excellent, and you get more infomation.
Etta I read the book and then watched the movie. I believe the movie is quite good and does a decent job of synthesising a multi generational epic into a reasonably coherent night's entertainment, but the book itself is so much richer and provides such a bedrock of context that the movie cannot do it justice. I think the real power of the book lies in its fully developed, slow burn plot, which reveals not just one plot, but the patterns and nuances which emerge over lifetimes.
Lily Harlin Simply put, Steinbeck could change the world, and perhaps he already has. This book gave a thrilling story that incorporated the beginning of Steinbeck's own life with that of a fictional family line. Adam Trask and his family moving from the east coast to California. Emotion followed the well written account around every turn, holding the reader captive and in complete rapture. This is perfection. Yes.
Karen N. These days the movie can be just as good as the books. But I think the book is way better than the movie... it goes into so much more depth about the characters and the stories and family's history. The movie just skimmed the surface.
Katy Lohman The book is so much more than the movie, because it covers so much more of the families' stories. You see how Adam and Charles' father's favoring of Adam leads to the struggle between those two brothers, which leads, in a roundabout way, to the brother-struggle between Cal and Aron. It is a very moving book. And, in the book, the revelation of "Timshel!" is deeply profound.
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